UH soccer: Fast start, strong finish

Fast starts have been a staple for the Hawaii soccer team through its first seven matches.

The Rainbow Wahine had a finish to match on Friday.

UH has scored nine of its 13 goals before halftime and got on the board first for the fifth time this season in taking a 3-1 lead against Weber State in its first road game of the season.

The Wahine have been outscored 11-2 in the second half this season and saw Friday’s lead shrink then disappear with 18:48 left in regulation. But the Wahine needed just 30 seconds of extra time to pull out a 4-3 win at Wildcat Soccer Field in Ogden, Utah.

“It was one of those nailbiters again,” UH coach Michele Nagamine said. “I think there’s a conspiracy, I think they’re trying to kill me.”

The golden goal came off the foot of sophomore T.J. Reyno, who had an earlier scoring opportunity slip by before giving UH its second overtime win of the season with her first score.

Reyno, a Mililani graduate, posted one goal last year and knocked in the close-range game-winner after Kama Pascua’s drive hit off the hands of Weber State goalie Sydnie Stokes.

“That’s what she does,” Nagamine said. “T.J. just pounces on those things and got on the end of it.

“She had two other opportunities to score goals. … I told her, ‘you’re a game changer so go in and change the game. You’re going to get one, keep shooting.’ So I’m really glad it happened for her. She’s been working really hard.”

As a team, UH took 14 shots, nine on goal, with freshman Sonest Furtado scoring UH’s first goal and assisting on Storm Kenui’s second of the season.

The Wahine left Honolulu on Wednesday and arrived in Ogden at around 1 a.m. Thursday.

Along with dealing with the altitude in Utah, Nagamine said the Wahine also had to adapt to the field conditions.

“They have a beautiful field … the grass was a little thicker and it was kind of deceiving because it looked like the field was going to play really fast but it was actually kind of hard on the legs,” Nagamine said. “Managing their energy the entire game was bit of a challenge but the kids did a great job. I’m really impressed with their determination and their effort at the end.”

UH will head to Pocatello, Idaho on Saturday and face Idaho State on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a challenge especially because Idaho was off (Friday),” Nagamine said. “On top the traveling, we’re going to (face) a team that’s rested.”